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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
The ceramics tent at the excavation house. Left to right, Senem Özden, Yaprak Özkünü, Geroen Joris, Philip Bes, and Hannelore Vanhaverbeke.

Photos courtesy Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project. Click on images to enlarge.
by Marc Waelkens

Ceramic Studies: Introduction

This year ceramological studies are carried out by Philip Bes (Leiden, The Netherlands, and now doctoral student in the Icrates Project at the KULeuven) and Yaprak Özkünü and Senem Özden (both Istanbul University), supervised by J. Poblome (KULeuven). At first they focused on a renewed examination of the pottery from the Upper Agora's western portico. This portico was rebuilt after destruction at the beginning of the sixtth century A.D., although its original layout goes back to early Imperial times. The objective was to enhance the information from a functional viewpoint, moving beyond a mere chronological approach. Therefore, four functional categories were distinguished in order to recognize specific vessels and their functions. These categories--vessels for agricultural production, kitchen wares, table wares, and other--were used for study of pottery from ten rooms in the portico. As at present, (pottery) vessels were used for storing and transport (agricultural production), the preparation and cooking of food (kitchen wares), the serving and consumption of food (table wares), and other, more specific functions such as oil lamps (other). The main goal is to recognize certain vessels (and their function) from specific deposits in order to acquire information about the original function of the rooms. For instance, in a room that has been used for storing one would expect to find large storage vessels for keeping olive oil. Not only pottery forms part of this study: the study of glass (by Veerle Lauwers) and of metal (by Nathalie Kellens) might also provide additional information for a room's interpretation.

At the same time Geroen Joris (student KULeuven) is preparing an M.A. dissertation on the Early Iron Age pottery from the territory of Sagalassos, while Hannelore Vanhaverbeke is preparing a first classification of the pottery from the territorial and from her suburban surveys, and Yaprak Özkünü is studying the lamps.

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